M.A. Journalism Studies Emphasis

About the Program

The M.A. in journalism with a journalism studies emphasis concentrates on the news media as an academic discipline that focuses on the nature and effects of journalism in a global society. Students explore international media models, media law, ethics, digital media, journalism history and the effects of media coverage on contemporary societies around the world. This 33-unit program is an alternative for students who are interested in pursuing a doctoral program and entering academia rather than in acquiring the professional skills offered in the skills-oriented option.

The school’s rich assortment of courses that survey international journalism makes Journalism Studies an attractive option for students interested in the role of global news media.


The option is very flexible, and programs can be tailored to meet your career goals and personal interests. Besides the journalism courses listed below, you are encouraged to enroll in relevant courses in colleges, schools or departments outside the School of Journalism (with permission). Several graduate students in journalism, for example, usually enroll in the Mideast Media course offered by the Department of Middle Eastern and North African Studies.

Course Requirements

You must complete a minimum of 33 units, including a thesis, to graduate. The curriculum consists of four required courses, three highly recommended courses and four electives. Full-time students can complete the requirements in two years.

No 400-level credits will be accepted toward graduate degrees. All course work will be based on graduate-level work. Credits earned in the 500-level section of a co-convened course (400/500) will be accepted toward graduate degrees.

Required Courses

  • Complete four courses (12 units)
  • You can choose to complete either a master's project (JOUR 909) or thesis (JOUR 910)

Highly Recommended Courses

  • Complete 9 units
  • Some courses are offered only occasionally

Plus a global course from list of electives.


  • Complete 12 units
  • Some courses are offered only occasionally
  • Other courses in journalism or outside the School may be taken with permission

Suggested Schedule

Below is a suggested schedule to ensure a logical progression from course to course, based on when courses are usually offered. A few graduate elective courses are also sometimes offered in winter and summer sessions. See the full list of courses for more information.

First Year

Fall Semester

  • JOUR 508 Journalism Theory and Practice (3 units)
  • Elective (6 units)

Spring semester

  • JOUR 509 International U.S. and Media Law (3 units)
  • JOUR 539 Ethics and the News Media (3 units)
  • JOUR 589 Research Methods (3 units)

Second Year

Fall Semester

  • Electives (up to 9 units)

Spring semester

  • JOUR 909 Project or JOUR 910 Thesis (3 units)
  • Electives (3 units)